Political payback for the statewide teacher walkout? Slew of newly filed bills aim to punish, limit future protests | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Political payback for the statewide teacher walkout? Slew of newly filed bills aim to punish, limit future protests

Oklahoma lawmakers have filed a host of bills that seek to crack down on the methods educators employed to stage a statewide walkout and Capitol protest last spring.

Proposed measures range from criminal penalties for disrupting the Legislature to the mandatory loss of pay and teacher certification for those who strike or shut down schools to resolve differences with state leaders.

At its peak, the two-week teacher walkout in April had more than 500,000 students out of school — about two-thirds of the state’s student population.

The Oklahoma Legislature had just scrambled to pass teacher raises, but teachers walked off the job anyway in protest of the effects on students of Oklahoma’s nation-leading state funding cuts over the last decade.

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